Crockett Lady Bulldogs didn't have to rely on any last-second heroics to win the regional quarterfinals title Tuesday night at Hudson.
Leading by five, the Lady Dogs opened the fourth quarter with a pivotal 17-3 run that spurred them to a 58-48 victory over Woden's Lady Eagles.
The Lady Dogs advanced to the regional tournament at Waco, where they faced Little River Academy in the semifinals on Friday. Franklin and Buffalo were pitted in the other semifinal matchup. The winners returned Saturday to play for the regional title and a berth in the Final Four at San Antonio this week.
The first quarter ended with Crockett and Woden deadlocked at 10-10, but the Lady Bulldogs clawed their way in front 24-19 at halftime.
Woden opened the third with an 9-0 run to slip in front 28-24 with 5:15 left. After Crockett tied the game at 29-all, Woden nudged back in front for the final time, 31-29, with 2:18 in the third.
A trey by Jardan Garner put Crockett on top 32-31 with 1:55 left in the third and the Lady Dogs would never surrender the lead again.
After Woden cut the lead to one (34-33), James scored with :20 left in the third and then drove to the glass just as the buzzer sounded to put Crockett up 38-33 heading into the final stanza.
Riding their momentum into the fourth, the Lady Dogs went on a 17-3 run to take charge 55-36 with 3:40 left. The scoring frenzy included a bucket by Garner, a trey and two free throws by Corry, two baskets by Dea'Junique James and back-to-back treys by Dajah Davis.
Woden answered with a 10-0 run that cut Crockett's lead to nine, 55-46, with 1:45 left but the Lady Eagles would get no closer down the stretch.
James scorched the nets for 32 points (1 trey) to lead all scorers. Davis finished with 11 (3 treys), Corry had 8 (1 trey), Garner 5 (1 trey) and Me'Shondrea Owens 2.
Woden sophomore Brittany Thompson led her team with 18 points, including one trey. She picked up 11 of her points on 16 free throw attempts.
"It was a heck of a game. We played really well, but we had some spurts up and down," said Lady Bulldogs Head Coach TaNesiah Johnson. "We started off flat, but we finally got our heads in the game and gained some momentum. We were fine once we pushed ourselves a little bit and got that second wind in the middle of the third. That was the turning point. We finally started attacking and doing what we should have done in the beginning."
Johnson said the Lady Bulldogs' 17-3 run early in the fourth quarter was crucial.
"Those three treys got our momentum going. We changed up a few things both offensively and defensively, and I think it worked," said Coach Johnson. "It was ugly, but we got it done. We picked up the pace when we needed to.
Garner and Mercedes James played key roles on defense, noted Johnson. "They shut Woden down pretty early."